Thursday, 30 July 2020 21:18

BUDU’S CORNER: Remembering 12 Ghanaian Goalkeepers Who Wore Caps/Hats During Games Featured

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Being a goalkeeper is challenging, no question about it. You train in small isolated groups, have holes picked in every performance you put in and more than often than not, pay for any slip-ups by losing your place in the side. 
 
 
For some keepers though, sitting on the bench and trying to force their way into the first team is often the first order of the day. Some eventually breakthrough and earn that coveted starting berth, but some wind up playing second fiddle for the majority of any given season. 
 
Ghana’s football landscape has borne witness to a plethora of goalkeepers who have lit up stadiums across the country since the days of yore. Some have walked away with a haul of medals and awards, whilst others may not have been as successful, yet their ability is what set them apart from the rest.
 
In the annals of Ghana’s football is the tale of goalkeepers who not trained in the weirdest ways imaginable, but they also had a crazy fashion sense. In addition to being able to wear pants and oversized gloves. So we thought it would be a good idea to look back at the goalkeepers who wore caps/hats to light up stadiums.
 
ROBERT MENSAH
 
Though Ghana has seen many great goalkeepers in the country’s footballing history, one name still stands heads and shoulders above everyone else. We are, of course, talking about Robert Mensah, one of the most beloved football figures in Ghana.
 
Thanks to his trademark, hardly forgotten jet-black kit, Mensah was an impenetrable fortress behind the sticks. Sadly, there aren’t any video montages of him for the younger generation to corroborate claims made by his people who saw him play
 
JOE CARR
 
Just like his idol, Robert Mensah, Carr is arguably one of the best goalkeepers to ever come from the West African nation. He was with the Black Stars from 1978-1984. 
 
He was in post when the Black Stars won the Nation’s Cup in 1978 and was a member of the squad that won the 1982 Nation’s Cup but could only make just one appearance in the Black Stars’ opening game against Libya.
 
He was in post during Asante Kotoko’s continental triumph in 1983.
 
SANNI ABDULLAI
 
A giant of a goalkeeper, he joined the Phobians from Eleven Wise. He was a giant, and so physically imposing that opposition strikers refused to go into the box for corners and set-pieces in fear of being cluttered together with the ball.
 
Sanni’s fist clearance of the ball made a zooming sound that struck fear into opponents. But aside his physicality, back in the 60s when the globular leather had not taken its contemporary easily malleable form, Sanni was the only goalkeeper who could hold a shoot in a single palm.
 
Source: Anwar Umar Larry/Hearts Eleven Facebook page
 
CHESCO ABDULAI
 
Chesco first played for SS 1974, the Armed Forces club formed I. K.Acheampong. He later joined Accra Hearts of Oak. Despite his frame, he was surprisingly well-coordinated and agile. He was the kind that would shout instructions to his defenders regarding their positioning.
 
Despite being all business on the field, he was jolly and friendly with fans of it. Currently a security guard at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Chesco Abdulai belonged to the cap/hat men.
 
He was also part of the Black Stars 1978 AFCON title-winning team with fellow goalkeepers Joe Carr and Fuseini Salifu.
 
ESSEL BADU MENSAH
 
Essel Mensah was with Asante Kotoko. He was the second choice goalkeeper with legendary Robert Mensah as the club’s first choice.
 
After Robert Mensah Mensah’s demise, Essel Badu Mensah assumed the number one role and rose through the ranks to be the country’s first choice. He featured in the 1972 Summer Olympics held in Munich.
 
FUSEINI SALIFU
 
An astute goalkeeper he was, Salifu was a member of the AFCON 1978 winning squad and was an integral member of the Asante Kotoko team. He joined the Porcupine Warriors from Kumasi Cornerstones.
 
KISKO ADANSI
 
He was with Abuakwa Susubiribi. A beacon of unparalleled consistency, Adansi was well-respected and revered as a consistent and phenomenal goalkeeper
 
AKUFFO
 
Akuffo was a member of Hearts’ musical youth in 1987. He was Hearts’ second choice goalie with Nana Benyin Crentsil edging him out on the number one position.
 
His game time was limited but anytime he had the opportunity to man the post, he wore his hat and performed well.
 
GEORGE NIMO
 
He played for Vipers in the ‘80s. He was a very promising young goalkeeper who was part of the Black Meteors and later with the Black Stars.
 
He later had to abandon a career in the sport for education as he left for the USA to further his education.
 
JERRY ADJEI
 
He kept the post for Kotoko in the mid to late ‘80s. He’s fondly remembered for conceding two goals when Hearts beat Kotoko in a league match in December 1984.
 
JOHN BAKER
 
The former Sekondi Eleven Wise and Black Stars goalie was a delight to watch in his heydays. Of course, he was a fan of the cap.
 
SAM DERKYI
 
He was with BA United in the early ‘70s. He was one of the best goalkeepers in the country at the time. Revered for his consistency, flexibility and fondness for using his legs to stop shots.
 
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